Birds in Art

by MBC

Starting with John James Audubon there have been many artists who have focused on birds. Painting, sketching, photography and sculpting of birds are some of the modalities used.

I have recently developed an interest in birding, watching, listening to, and identifying birds. Birds are one of the best ways to enjoy and appreciate nature. In the cold months you can put out a bird feeder and watch them from the warmth of your livingroom. You would be amazed how many people are into a birding task called "listing" which is considered a sport or at least a competition. I'm trying to learn to sketch birds, which is practically a necessity when you are a birder. I also take photos like the one in this introduction. I feel like I'm camera challenged since all I have is a point and shoot digital camera.

In this article I will expose you to some great bird art. Hint you might want to check out my
Pinterest board on birds to see some wonderful photos I've found (not mine). Just click the red P at the right side.

My Favorite Bird Quote

"A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s wings. Always believe in yourself"
Author Unknown

Here is one of my own photos of a Robin in Colorado

Spring Robin
Spring Robin
Personal photos taken by Marsha Camblin

I lived on "the bird farm" as a child

When I grew up I lived on a hill in Colorado Springs in an area called the bird farm.  I lived on Robin Drive and attended Audubon Elementary School.

John James Audubon was a wildlife artist who painted the birds of America.  He lived from 1785 to1851.  His works can be found in Birds of America which includes 435 prints of Audubon's paintings of birds. The Audubon Society was established in the late 1800s and has contributed untold efforts to establish bird conservation in America.

James discovered, by banding birds, that birds returned to the very same nesting sites each year.

Short Documentary by a Bird Artist in Nepal Today

Samples of Audubon's Paintings

Great Blue Heron
Audubon: Whooping Crane
American Flamingo
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Another Type of Art is Music and Also Poetry

Did you know that Wolfgang Mozart owned a European Starling?  He owned the Starling for three years and when it died Mozart conducted a funeral and read a poem that he wrote about his Starling.

Learn to Sculpt Birds Demonstration

Give it a try

Magestic Eagles in the US are often the subject of photos and paintings


Here are some contemporary art pieces which can be framed and make great gifts.

Lego Hummingbird Sculpture

Lego Hummingbird Sculpture
Lego Hummingbird Sculpture
Personal photo

Other Well Known Bird Artists Are Roger Tory Peterson and David Sibley

You may have heard of Tory Peterson, even if you are not a birder.  He is the publisher of many field guides which are used by many beginner as well as more advanced birdwatchers. They are illustrated by bird paintings rather than photographs. His website offers Birding Podcasts with Species Profiles which include their songs. It is acceptable to "list" a bird that you can identify by sound alone even if you have not seen the bird. Peterson has had two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize and is credited with starting the environmental movement. Unfortunately, he died in 1996 but his organization lives on.

Another bird illustrator who is still living and also writes field guides is David Sibley.  You may have heard of him as he is well known.

Movies are Also Considered Art

Nature Documentaries Such as Planet Earth are Quite Popular These Days

Are you old enough to have seen the movie The Birds. It was produced by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963 and left many people with a fear of birds.  It was based on real events that took place on Monterey Bay, CA in 1961 when disoriented and dying seabirds flew into homes in the area. At the time this was a complete mystery but now they think that the bird's behavior was created by eating toxins in algae which poisoned them.

Would You Like a Pretty Hen Cookie Jar from Nordstrom?

Colorful Whimsical Hen Cookie Jar

A Famous Japanese Bird Artist is Suzuki Kiitsu

Six-Fold Screen Depicting Reeds and Cranes, Edo Period, Japanese, 19th Century
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J. F. Lansdowne was a Canadian Wildlife Artist

Landsdown has published several books filled with his bird art.  They include Birds of the Eastern Forest (Volumes I and II), Birds of the Northern Forest (Volumes I and II), Birds of the West Coast (Volumes I and II), Rails of the World and more.

He has a reputation as one of the world's greatest bird painters.  His portraits included birds of prey, waterfowl, woodpeckers, swallows and more. He lived from 1937 to 2008.

James Fenwick Lansdowne's Pileated Woodpecker

There are several others also on AllPosters
Pileated Woodpecker
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Who was Louis Agassiz Fuertes?

Louis Agassiz Fuertes was an American bird artist born in 1874 in Ithaca, NY and died in 1927. He attended Cornell University. He created watercolors of both birds and mammals. His illustrations are very accurate and much sought after.

Art of Louis Agassiz Fuertes of Curlew

A Painting of Three Species of Curlew
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Be sure you can see your bird subject well with a great spotting scope or binoculars.

I'm Going to Yosemite this Summer and Want to See the Birds There

When I return I will either write an article on the Birds or on Yosemite Itself - Time Will Tell - Here's a Taste
Don't you just love the positive happy feeling of the sunflower? This article focuses on gifts and home decor with the sunflower theme.
Learn about the wild creature the elephant. We will discuss the endangered, majestic and exotic elephants of the world.
This article will make suggestions for attracting butterflies and or birds to your garden. Sometimes the same plant works to attract both butterflies and birds.
Learn about the family Falconidae or falcons. These birds of prey are fascinating and beautiful. Hunters train them.

Many Birdbaths are Works of Art These Days

Join Wizzley Today and Start Writing
Join Wizzley Today and Start Writing
Updated: 02/16/2019, MBC
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Comments Do you have a favorite bird artist? If so tell us who please.

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MBC on 09/06/2015

Thanks and happy birding!

blackspanielgallery on 09/06/2015

Birds make excellent subjects for art. I see you have sampled the copious work of Audubon. Nice piece.

MBC on 09/04/2015

Yes, I think his paintings are spectacular!

CruiseReady on 09/03/2015

Though I am not, by any means, a a birder, I do find birds more and more fascinating with each passing year. I was only familiar with J Audubon before happening on this page. I've always liked his one of the flamingo with its head down.

MBC on 07/03/2015

Your partnership and hobbies go well together. And your cards sound delightful. Thanks for your visit.

swampnut on 06/19/2015

My wife is an avid bird watcher. I go along with her to help her across rough terrain and to photograph birds for her. Each year we also send out our self made Christmas card on which I have painted a bird of some sort, usually sitting in a bare limbed tree with Christmas lights around. I do it in watercolor and it is simple, but folks seemed to like it. Thanks for this post, good job.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/05/2014

MBC, With an address on Robin Drive and attendance at Audubon Elementary, it sounds as though you were destined for an involvement with birding!
Bird watching is quite an interesting pastime, and bird illustration and photography not only are enjoyable but also are helpful in finessing bird identification.
Faunal and floral illustrators, especially from previous centuries, have captivated me since childhood.

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